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Sunday, June 26, 2016

REVIEW: Paper & Fire by Rachel Caine

*Thank you, Netgalley, for an ARC in exchange for a fair review*

Expected publication: July 5, 2016

Jess Brightwell and his allies are back in this second installment to Caine's Great Library series.  Paper and Fire jumps right back into the action. The Great Library continues its stranglehold on knowledge throughout the world as it stamps out any notion of rebellion. Serving in the army is nothing like Jess expected as he and his friends are still reeling from the violence and loss surrounding events at the end of Ink and Bone. He believes he's lost his best friend, Thomas, forever and the girl he loves, Morgan, is locked away in the Obscurist's Iron Tower.

After learning some surprising information, Jess and the others embark on a dangerous mission to save one of their own, secretly plotting to thwart the Library in an action packed narrative spanning not only Alexandria but Rome and even London. Dodging automata creatures and betrayal at every turn, Jess and his friends soon learn that even the places they've once called home aren't safe and that the Library is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to retain its unrelenting power.

What I continue to love about this series is the extended discussion of the power of knowledge and the effect on the world concerning what happens when that power is corrupt. There is this broader exploration of Intellectual Freedom and what can happen in a world where thought and creativity is stunted.  I won't give a lot away but one moment of significance is the discovery and outcome surrounding the Black Archives and the parallel  with our world's fate of the Library of Alexandria.

Overall, great pacing and characterization with plenty of action, a dash of romantic angst, some humor and surprising twists.

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @rachelcaine

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